Food For Thought

December 22, 2009

I have just started to read, Food Matters:  A Guide to Conscious Eating, by best selling author, Mark Bittman.  The book offers astounding information on how the food we eat is damaging the planet.

I am only twenty pages in and am already intrigued and impressed by the amount of interesting research and data he has presented.

In the chapter, Rethinking Consumption, Bittman calls to attention the fact that most “junk foods” “contain far more calories than are justified by their nutrient levels.”

A reformed calorie counter myself, it is ridiculously easy to get caught up in the calories and fat something contains and ignore the ingredients.

I like this smart example Bittman gives his readers for consideration:

You would need to eat two and a half single-serve bags of potato chips to get the protein in one medium baked potato.

my mom's favorite.

  • In doing so, you would have also consumed nearly 25 grams of fat and 380 calories.
  • A medium potato, with a pat of butter, would only put you at around 200 calories and 4 grams of fat.  (Bittman, pg 16).

Additionally, potato chips, though tantalizing, are fried (or, ahem, excuse me… these days some are “baked”) in oils and doused in salt.  Potato chip products that advertise lower calories and fat, are usually ridden with artificial ingredients.  As you now know, I am not a fan of anything artificial, and in fact, find that artificial ingredients can do more damage to our bodies than the real thing.

The better option would be to go for the baked potato and pat on the organic butter and sprinkle it with salt.  It will also be much more nutritionally satisfying and filling, instead of having to keep digging your hand back into the chip bag.  (Just one more! Right?  I am the queen of that statement when it comes to addicting things like salty snacks).

The even BETTER option would be to have a baked sweet potato or yam.  These babies are much more readily digested than their “white” friend, the traditional baked potato.  In fact, if you are still hungry. Have two!  (That’s how much better they are for you- enjoy with vegetables and high-quality starches).

I am not a fan of the microwave but if you are in a rush, you can buy them pre-wrapped for quick microwaving.

Expect to find Bittman’s words of wisdom pop-up, from time to time, in Diary of a Nutritionist.

What do you eat when you are craving something salty?

4 thoughts on “Food For Thought

  1. Liked the comparison of the calories and fat in chips vs. baked potatoe with butter. I love slicing sweet potatoes thin like chips, spread them on a cookie sheet with foil and baking them in the oven for 15-20 minutes with some cinnamon and grapeseed oil, sprinkled with sea salt….healthy, I know exactly what’s in it and i actually look to it as a dessert.

    • sounds delicious!! I like to use first cold pressed olive oil for that recipe. Sweet potatoes are incredible. I sometimes enjoy them as dessert for dinner during the colder months… I have a wonderful “custard” recipe that I plan to post in the future. Thanks for commenting!!

  2. Pingback: Notes from Lecture with Mark Bittman- « Diary of a Nutritionist

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